Is The Statler Hotel In Buffalo Still Open – Bringing new life to downtown Buffalo — Douglas Jamal is now famous, and the deep-pocketed developer can’t hide his enthusiasm for his latest project to reimagine the historic Statler Hotel.
BUFFALO, NY () – Bringing new life to downtown Buffalo is business as usual for Douglas Jamal, and the deep-pocketed developer can’t help but be enthusiastic about his latest project to reimagine the Statler Hotel.
Is The Statler Hotel In Buffalo Still Open
“I love doing it. I love doing it in Buffalo,” Cemal said during a recent tour of the construction site with Anchor Jeff Russo.
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In May 2020, Cemal purchased the famous Statler building from the estate of Mark Croce. His updated vision for the 18-story GEM includes hundreds of apartments, along with banquet, retail and conference space. Jemal plans to bring casino gaming to downtown Buffalo.
Work is already underway to realize his vision. Cemal estimates that the total cost of the project will be around 150 million dollars.
Much of the work currently being done is in an area that many people in the Statler area have not seen before. For more than a month, crews have been cleaning the entire base of the building, removing years of debris, old pipes and electrical lines.
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Crews are working to clear 100,000 square feet in the lower levels of the Statler building.
The goal is to open 100,000 square feet of contiguous space. “What you haven’t seen before with Statler are his assets,” Cemal said. “You’ve never seen it before. You didn’t know it existed, but it’s the most important part of the Statler.”
A number of historic items have been discovered along the way, including the original warehouse in the basement, but Cemal says he hopes the newly cleared area will be a real treasure.
“It could be the biggest casino and that’s what we’re trying to do,” Cemal said. “Our long-term plan is to contract with the Seneca Nation and host a game here. If that doesn’t work out, if they need more space, we want to do it as an expansion of the convention center,” Cemal said.
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Douglas Jemal points out that he hopes some of the cleared land in the basement of the Statler building will be turned into a casino
Jemal said there will be conversations with the Seneca Nation and New York state about future games, but he believes the redesigned Statler next to the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center will open up endless potential.
“Let’s look for this opportunity to do something great for Buffalo, and we’re doing it now. I’m very proud of that,” Cemal said.
The Statler first opened its doors in 1923, when Buffalo’s population was over half a million and growing. For Cemal, reimagining the 18-story building nearly a century later begins with updating the dated exterior.
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“We are restoring it to its original state. It is a magnificent building with beautiful architecture,” Cemal said.
Important work has already been done on the exterior of the first floor and is ongoing. The windows, mirrors and even the revolving doors in the grand entrances all hint at the royal restoration and original design.
“We restore everything. We rebuild everything that was broken. We put it back,” Cemal said. “More than anything, it will have a restored front facade. So it won’t look like an old decaying abandoned building.”
Cemal also plans to reintroduce retail spaces and storefronts on the Statler’s lower floors along Delaware Avenue and Niagara Square.
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“There will definitely be retail,” Cemal said. “It’s really important to get that position, the visibility back in Niagara Square right away.”
If you go up the elevators, instead of old office space and some original hotel rooms, there will be hundreds of residential units.
“I’m trying to build about 600 apartments here, which will ultimately be about 1,200 residents. The ballrooms are great the way they are. We’re going to keep them the way they are.”
One thing Jamal would like to see in the future is to physically connect the Statler building to the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center along Franklin Street. Cemal says that discussions about this idea are ongoing.
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“I think at the end of the day, it gives the convention center extra space when they need it, or they can have that extra space when they need it. They don’t have to run for it. Or build it if they didn’t have a big enough convention that they wanted to look for.”
Cemal, who also owns Seneca One, Boulevard Mall and is working on acquiring the Downtown Hyatt, says his work at the Statler building will focus on what’s already planned. The Statler project is expected to take about two years to complete. Size of this preview: 800 × 596 pixels. Other dimensions: 320 × 238 pixels | 640 × 477 pixels | 1, 024 × 763 pixels | 1. 280 × 954 pixels | 2,551 × 1,901 pixels.
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This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Geric, 2.0 Geric, and 1.0 Geric licenses.
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If the file has been modified from its original state, some data may not exactly reflect the modified file. Designed by George B. Post & Sons, the Statler Hotel was completed in 1923. It was the second and largest hotel to open in Buffalo. Ellsworth Statler. (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News)
Washington developer Douglas Jamal, who already made his mark in Buffalo when he acquired and redeveloped the Seneca One tower, has agreed to buy another troubled location, Statler City.
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Details were limited Wednesday night, but a source familiar with the deal confirmed that Douglas Development Corp. owner Cemal will buy the historic Niagara Square hotel and banquet center from Statler City LLC, which was run by the late developer. Mark Croce.
Cemal declined to comment when reached by phone. However, an official announcement is expected Thursday with the developer, the Croce family and city officials in attendance.
After Croce’s death in a helicopter crash in January, Statler’s future was uncertain. Croce, a veteran restaurateur known for Buffalo Chophouse and other restaurants on Franklin Street, was seen as the driving force behind efforts to revitalize the 18-story Statler.
Built in 1923 for $8 million, the 100-room Statler 1 hotel has shrunk over the years since it served as the flagship of the Ellsworth Statler hotel chain. In the 1980s, it was converted into office space.
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When Croce left the desert in 2011 to bail it out for $200,000 — plus $500,000 in back taxes — the building’s brick facade began to crumble.
Croce then estimated that a complete rebuild of the building would cost more than $100 million, but he intended to start small and build over time. Taking advantage of its history and its still-present beauty, efforts quickly began to restore the lower levels and bring them back as catering, banqueting and event spaces. The renamed Statler City opened for business on December 31, 2011, with a New Year’s Eve celebration designed to showcase the building’s potential.
Croce’s company spent $8 million on the project over the next eight years and called for public assistance to shore up the exterior. The work was expected to cost about $12.5 million, so the city and state agreed to provide $5.3 million in grants for the building in three installments, with the remainder coming from Statler City funds.
The project slowed as Croce focused on developing the Curtiss Hotel storefront on Franklin Street and then a plan to create a second Emerson School of Hospitality.
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Croce a year
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